Minutes of the APSUO Steering Committee Meeting
Argonne National Laboratory
January 11, 2007

Steering Committee Attendees : K. Brister, P. Evans, M. Firestone, T. Gog, B. Golden, T. Graber, G. Ice, L. Lurio, S. Mochrie, A. Mulichak, D. Reis, C. Thompson, and W. Smith.

APS Attendees : M. Beno, J. M. Gibson, E. Gluskin, G. Long, D. Mills, S. Strasser, and M. Vigliocco-Hagen

Routine Business:

The minutes from the October 26, 2006, APSUO Steering Committee Meeting were reviewed and approved as written.

A request to add the software update to the agenda discussion topics was received. There will be an update on this issue at the afternoon joint session.

APS User Issues
Susan Strasser reported that some users have arrived at the lab to conduct experiments and have found that they do not have the proper access papers, badge, etc. If there is information in the system on these individuals, Strasser can give permission for them to enter, but in some cases, there is nothing in the system that would allow this access. A discussion took place, and the suggestion was made that a statement be placed on the ESAF that would alert the users to the necessity of having current access permission. A suggested statement on the ESAF was: Reminder: Make sure you look to see if your badge has expired. If so, contact the APS User Office. Discussion on this subject will continue.

Advocacy Efforts and Planning
Gene Ice reported on the recent advocacy efforts to send e-mails, make phone calls, and make local visits in order to try to save the Office of Science budget increase for FY07. More that 700 e-mails have been sent thus far. Ice asked the group to continue to urge users to send this communication.

User Meeting Planning
Tim Graber reported on the status of the workshops for the User Meeting. Strasser also gave a run-down on the meeting budget thus far. There is talk of going off site for this year's banquet; more information on that will follow.

Paul Evans will head up the Nominating Committee. Iindustrial employees should be among the nominees.. The Committee will also suggest local people to nominate as well.

Larry Lurio volunteered to serve on the Compton Award Committee. Much discussion took place regarding this award and how it should recognize world-class people who do work here at the APS.

Joined by the Partner User Council

APS Update
J. Murray Gibson related the latest information on the continuing resolution (CR) to the group. Congress has not passed the 2007 budget and is threatening a year-long CR. It is hoped that the continuing resolution would leave the Science/BES increase intact while keeping DOE at 2006 levels. The increases in lab overhead and power costs have left the laboratory with very little discretionary funding to keep operating effectively. Due to these budget constraints, the plan is to reduce the operating schedule for 2007-1 in an effort to save on effort costs (mostly overtime) and power costs (~$15,000 per day).

Gibson also announced that The University of Chicago review of the APS is planned for later in 2007. The Accelerator Review will take place in April, the safety review in summer, and the overall review in September.

APS Upgrade
Gibson described the outcome of the Machine Advisory Committee meeting held in November and the progress on the upgrade planning with DOE-BES. The machine options have been narrowed down to an Energy-recovery LINAC (ERL). This is 2-3 orders of magnitude reduction in emittance, almost fully coherent flux, instrinsically short pulses, and a relatively non-disruptive upgrade path. In parallel with R&D for the ERL in the next few years, the APS will be developing the strongest scientific case and making sure the options offer the highest impact and minimal disruption, keeping in mind that this upgrade project will be the best opportunity for major new investments in beamlines, including instrumentation, software and associated manpower. Gibson went on to say that the APS will be moving forward with this project, including a machine upgrade, beamlines, detectors, optics and software. The APS will host specialized workshops in the spring that will focus on upgrade science. In parallel with the upgrade, the APS is developing a white paper on completing the insertion device sectors at the APS at the request of the DOE-BES. This white paper will be discussed with the SAC later this month.

Upgrade Presentations

  • ERL Outfield Option and Support R&D, M. Borland
  • Gun Development and Supporting R&D, K. Harkay
  • RF Development and Supporting R&D, A. Nassiri
  • Scientific Issues, G. Srajer

SAC Discussion Issues
Gibson outlined the items that will be discussed with the Scientific Advisory Committee when it meets on January 23-25, 2007. Some of those topics include the cross-cut review on structural biology, the APS upgrade plans, the planning for construction of the last 4-ID sectors, the new approach to reviewing XOR sectors, planning for the worst case budget in 2007, and improved interactions with industry.

DOE IG Audit of APS
Dennis Mills discussed the DOE IG Audit of the APS that started a year ago. The topics of interest to the IG were beamtime usage, proprietary research, and general finance. One finding from the draft report is that Argonne did not effectively recover operating costs from proprietary research at the APS. Specifically, it was found that Argonne charged hourly rates for proprietary usage that were not sufficient to recover costs, could not be assured that it had charged proprietary researchers for the correct number of hours used, and delayed establishment of advances from and billings to proprietary users. The audit team recommended that Argonne put appropriate proprietary usage rate controls into place to accurately record proprietary usage and assure that billings for proprietary users are received and issued in a timely manner, and that lost collections are recovered. Argonne management has agreed to some of these recommendations. Mills went on to say that Argonne management disagreed with the audit team's conclusion that the proprietary rates for FY 2006 and prior were understated. Management maintained that the proprietary rate, which has been in effect for the past ten years, was appropriate for a facility that was in the process of increasing the number of users to full capacity. The APS has proposed a proprietary rate transition schedule. The audit team feels that this transition is a positive step in the process. The final audit report will be out soon.

Software Update
As requested, Pete Jemian gave an update on the creation of the Scientific Software Section at the APS. The purpose of this section is to provide robust data reduction, data analysis, modeling and simulation software to the users. The program has a high priority and will be pursued simultaneously with the highest priority beam line upgrades. Jemian reported that activities for the section will include exploring existing software packages, especially visualization, that have potential for scientific software. Ken Evans is the chair of the working group that is looking into this coordinated software development program at the APS. Jemian announced that anyone can join this working group or offer input by contacting Evans

Next Meeting:

The next APSUO Steering Committee Meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2007, in conjunction with User Week 2007.